You have probably heard stressed-out people toss around the term “anxiety” to explain their mood or propensity to worry. According to the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5), Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD) is diagnosed when a person reports persistent worry or dread that significantly interferes with daily functioning. People diagnosed with GAD report feeling on edge, trouble concentrating, sleep disturbances, irritability, and physical sensations like muscle tension and body pain.
Nearly everyone experiences anxiety at some point in life. However, GAD is different from day-to-day worries or how we respond to stressful life events. People living with GAD often experience mild to severe symptoms for months, if not years. Over 19% of American adults and over 30% of adolescents were diagnosed with an anxiety disorder in the last year. And while many people ignore anxiety, leaving it untreated can lead to more serious problems. Untreated anxiety can lead to gastrointestinal problems, depression, isolation, insomnia, chronic pain, suicidal ideation, and more.
If you are experiencing symptoms of anxiety, talking to a licensed professional can help. Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), defined broadly to include any treatment with cognitive, behavioral (e.g., exposure), or a combination of components, is widely accepted as the most effective form of treatment.
Still not sure if therapy is right for you? Here are a few tools for you to try!
As summer ends and the stresses of autumn begin, Whole Wellness counselors are ready to connect and provide a safe space for you to learn more about yourself and how to improve your mood and day–to–day functioning. Call today to get an accurate diagnosis and personalized treatment plan.